Jennifer Weingart

Reporter/Host, All Things Considered

Jennifer Weingart is a reporter and All Things Considered host. She holds a degree in broadcasting and journalism from Central Michigan University, prior work experience from WCMU in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. and WDET in Detroit. She likes stories that involve passionate people doing awesome things. Her work is heard on WVPE, the Michigan Public Radio Network, Indiana's regional journalism cooperative and a few times on NPR.

Jennifer believes that Public Radio is where the best stories go to get told.

When she's not chasing a story she can be found listening to NPR podcasts while running, baking recipes off Pinterest, doing something marching band related, or reading anything that stands still long enough. She also enjoys cats, dresses with weird prints, camping and TV shows with quality character development. She is a fantastic whistler.

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Indiana’s high school graduation rate is expected to drop significantly when new federal guidelines take effect at the end of this school year. But some education experts say that’s not as bad as it sounds.

The Every Student Succeeds Act changes the requirements for getting a high school diploma.

Under the federal law, thousands of general diplomas would no longer count. General diplomas require fewer math, social studies and science credits – and less testing.

The change could decrease the state’s graduation rate by as much as 12 percent.

 

The mannequins in some St. Joseph, Michigan store windows will be real people for an event Friday evening.

The Living Mannequins displays have been part of St. Joe’s light up the bluff holiday event for six years now.

Displays follow a theme and must incorporate the goods or services of the business in whose window they appear. They compete for judged awards and people’s choice awards.

This year the theme is literature, and will include Peter Pan, Sherlock Holmes and Where’s Waldo, among others.

Joe Doran died Wednesday. Doran was a politician and community leader in South Bend and St. Joseph County.

 

Joe Doran grew up in South Bend and graduated from Central High School then went to serve in World War II. When he returned he became the Assistant Chief of the South Bend Fire Department.

He retired from the fire department after 22 years, then went into politics. He served at the County Democratic Chair, the County Clerk and Treasurer for St. Joseph County.

 

Garrison Keillor will not perform at Goshen College in May following allegations of inappropriate behavior against the popular public radio personality.

Goshen College says it is cancelling the performance scheduled for May 6th as part of Goshen College Music Center’s performing arts series.

Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media severed ties from Keillor after allegation surfaced of inappropriate behavior during his time as the producer of ‘A Prairie Home Companion.’

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The Northern Indiana Public Service Company, or NIPSCO, is requesting a rate hike that would increase customers gas rates by about $10 a month.

The rate hike is $8.50 on the base rate and 6.6 cents per therm.

NIPSCO spokesperson Nick Meyer says the rate hike will allow them to pay for maintenance and several major system upgrades.

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Some local post offices will be open on Sundays leading up to Christmas. A release from USPS says the extended are meant to give customers more of a chance to get holiday mailing done.

Offices open for Sunday hours include:

Northwest area: Valparaiso, Gary and Merrillville.

Fort Wayne area: Fort Wayne Northwood and Centennial.

South Bend area: South Bend Main Office, Edison Park, Elkhart, Chippewa, Mishawaka, Marion and Kokomo.

The Humane Society of Elkhart County will hold an open house at its new facility this weekend.

The group is looking to share its new, larger and safer facility with the public. The new building is on the same site as the last one, on county road 19 in Bristol.

It features completely separated areas for cats and dogs, and different areas for animals coming in as surrenders or strays and those going out to be adopted.

The goal is to reduce the spread of diseases and stress among the animals.

Michigan DNR

 

State Parks in Indiana and Michigan will have free admission on Friday as part of the opt outside movement.

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Volunteers and workers at Hope Ministries in South Bend will provide nearly a thousand thanksgiving dinners for the holiday today.

Hope Ministries has been giving out thanksgiving dinners for 25 years. This year, they will serve just over 300 people at their facility and deliver more than 500 meals to people in need.

 

The city of South Bend is more than halfway through a project that will replace most of the city’s streetlights with LED fixtures.

South Bend will replace streetlights in the city with LEDs as the old bulbs burn out. LEDs are about 50 percent more energy efficient than traditional streetlights.

Therese Dorau is the director of South Bend’s office of sustainability. She said the new lights will save the city money in electricity and maintenance costs, and the LEDs provide better light.

 

The Goshen Police Department has received a federal grant to update its crime data reporting software.

 

The $284,751 grant will pay for updates needed because the FBI added new reported statistics and the old system is no longer compatible.

The grant will cover updating the software systems for all police in Elkhart County except Elkhart City Police Department.

The George Washington Bridge
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South Bend Civic Theatre is looking for people of Latin American background for the cast and crew of a production of In The Heights in March.

In The Heights is a musical written by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. It follows a few days in the life of the residents of the primarily Latino Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City where Miranda grew up.

The University of Notre Dame
Jennifer Weingart

 

The University of Notre Dame has established a new Office of Military and Veterans Affairs to help serve students in that population.

 

The process to get the new Office of Military and Veterans Affairs started in January. The University is using the department to bring together services that were previously housed separately.

Many other universities have similar departments to work with military and veteran students.

 

Readers of the paper copy of  the South Bend Tribune got a little more Michigan sports than normal today. The front page of the paper’s sports section was actually from the Lansing State Journal.

The Tribune outsourced its printing operations last March. Both papers are printed at a facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The South Bend Tribune says the accident happened when printing plates for the page got mixed up. The Lansing State Journal did not contain any pages from the South Bend Tribune.

 

Michigan Whitetail Deer
Michigan DNR

 

There may be people absent from school or work in Michigan Wednesday as firearm deer season begins. For some hunters going out opening day is a ritual.

“Since I’ve been hunting I think I may have missed one. I think I may have been sick. It’s still a ritual. I mean, people treat it as almost a religious holiday.”

That’s Dan Jennings. He teaches hunter safety classes at the Berrien County Sportman’s Club. He’s off work for opening day to take to the woods.

Man helps boy shoot
Michigan DNR

 

Wednesday is the start of Michigan’s firearm deer season, a big date on hunter’s calendars. Before hunters can hit the woods, they have to hit the classroom.

Hunter safety courses are required for anyone born after 1960 that wants a Michigan hunting license. The courses cover things like firearm safety, hunting ethics, regulations, tree stand safety and safe gun storage.

 

The Elkhart chapter of the Indiana Black Expo is holding a health fair for men and veterans this weekend.

 

The fair features screenings for blood pressure, glaucoma, blood glucose and others.

Robert Taylor is the President of the Elkhart chapter of the Indiana Black Expo. He says they chose to host the fair to educate more men about preventative care.

“A lot of men don’t go to the doctor. We as men, we kind of find out about our health and health-related issues when it’s too late.”

Jacob Manly prepares to cut the ribbon
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

 

The city of Elkhart cut the ribbon in its first Americans with Disabilities Act compliant playground.

The new playground at McNaughton park features artificial turf and wider walkways that make it easier for maneuvering wheelchairs. And a special enclosed pod for children on the autism spectrum who might become over stimulated in a group.

Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese said the road to the project has been a long one.

The University of Notre Dame
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE

 

Employees of the University of Notre Dame will still have access to no cost birth control after the end of the year through a third party provider.

Notre Dame announced last week it would no longer provide coverage to employees. Their health care provider, Meritain Health, announced it will continue to offer the coverage at no cost to plan members.

 

Many Michiganders will have the opportunity to go to the polls tomorrow to cast a ballot in local elections.

While there are no big national, or statewide elections this November, many local taxes, councils and projects are on ballots across Michigan.

Lakeshore Public Schools has two issues on the ballot. A renewal of an operating millage for non-homestead properties and a replacement to a bond millage for 1997 that runs out this year.

 

A Saint Joseph, Michigan podiatrist will forfeit his licenses after he pled no contest to charges of diverting opioids and insurance fraud.

Doctor Craig Sherwood will give up his medical license, his license to write prescriptions and will close his medical practice at the end of the year.

Sherwood pled no contest to five counts of diverting opioid and five counts of insurance fraud for writing prescriptions for family members that were not his patients, and charging them to insurance.

 

There will be more Lime Bikes around South Bend in the next few months as the company increases its presence in the city.

 

There are currently 972 green bikes around South Bend. Lime Bike has plans to increase that to 2,000 or 3,000 by February.

The company has been operating in the city since July. The dockless bike shares are monitored and redistributed around the city and college campuses every day.

The Kids Kingdom playground at Potawatomi Park in South Bend was damaged by a fire that was set in the structure Tuesday night.

The fire is believed to have been set by vandals at about 6:30. Neighbors called 911 and the fire was contained quickly. Part of the structure was compromised by the fire.

The playground will be closed for about two weeks while repairs are made.

There will be a work day on Monday evening from 4 to 6 to repair the damage. Volunteers from the community are welcome.

 

Jack-o-Lantern
Carole Pasquier via Wikimedia Commons

 

Many neighborhoods will be overrun tonight with goblins and ghouls and, the ever popular super hero.

 

Google’s annual ‘Frightgeist’ report on tending Halloween costumes is populated with the usual suspects; witches, clowns and animals. But a lot of the top getups are superheroes and their foes. Wonder Woman, Captain America, Batman, Harley Quinn and more.

There will be new rules about reservation at Michigan State parks starting in November.

The change is a new sliding scale of fees for changes and cancellations based on how long the reservation has been held and the cost of the site per night.

 

Notre Dame Stadium
Jennifer Weingart

 

If you see fighter jets over South Bend Friday and Saturday, don’t be alarmed, they’re Air Force pilots practicing for a flyover at this weekend’s Notre Dame football game.

Four F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets will be doing a ceremonial flyover during pregame activities before the game Saturday afternoon between the ninth ranked Fighting Irish and the 14th ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Kickoff is at 3:30.

Test runs are planned for Friday at around noon, weather permitting.

 

F.C. Reed Middle School
Jennifer Weingart

 

    

Students at Bridgman’s F.C. Reed Middle School are taking a new class this year in science, technology, engineering and math. It’s taught in the district’s new STEM lab.

The STEM lab is housed in what used to be the school’s wood shop. Principal John Truesdell said kids are still getting the chance to create.

 

In the last few days Michiana has gotten between three and six inches of rain. The rain hit as many farmers are harvesting fall crops.

The deluge of rain across the area for the last two days has created some issues for local farmers who still have crops to harvest.

Jeff Burbrink is an agricultural educator with the Purdue Extension Service. He says crops still in the fields could face problems.

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